Four OMB appellants to appear in court Feb. 24, 2016
February 18, 2016
Four individuals who appealed the City of Ottawa’s rezoning of Chaudière and Albert Islands to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) will return to court on Feb. 24, 2016 with a motion for leave to appeal the OMB’s dismissal of their original appeals.
WHERE: Ontario Divisional Court, Motions Court. 160 Elgin Street. Room not yet assigned. Ask at information desk on day of hearing. Case is called Cardinal vs. Windmill, motion for leave to appeal OMB decision.
WHEN: 10 a.m. All spectators must pass through a security screening before entering the courtroom.
The four appellants who are contesting the OMB’s dismissal of their original appeals are: Douglas Cardinal, Romola Thumbadoo, Richard Jackman, and Larry McDermott. A fifth appellant in the original OMB hearing, Lindsay Lambert, has successfully convinced the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate irregularities in the OMB’s dismissal of the original appeals, and will not be part of this motion to appeal.
The OMB’s dismissal of the rezoning appeals was handed down November 17, 2015, even though the original OMB case did not go to a full hearing. It was confined to a “pre-hearing” format, which was not documented in any formal way. No transcript of the proceedings exists.
In launching an appeal of the OMB dismissal, grounds for doing so are limited to “matters of law,” not to evidence that was presented during the hearing. Based on this requirement, the appellants’ lawyer, Michael Swinwood, will set out several grounds for the appeal. These arguments are grounded in
- the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which is part of Canada’s Constitution, and especially related to the rights of Indigenous peoples, and
- the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
History of the rezoning and appeal to the OMB appears here (PDF will load).
City of Ottawa’s rezoning of islands violates Indigenous sacred site
During the OMB pre-hearings (June and August 2015), the chair of the hearing refused to hear constitutional arguments based on land rights of Indigenous people to the sacred site that includes Chaudière and Albert Islands.
Although it is commonly accepted that large tracts of Ontario, and all Crown land in the City of Ottawa, are on unceded Algonquin territory, the OMB chair refused to entertain arguments that the rezoning of Chaudière and Albert Islands by the City of Ottawa represents:
- an abrogation of Indigenous rights under Canada’s constitution, and
- an unwillingness to apply UNDRIP clauses that relate to inherent rights of Indigenous peoples as set out in: Article 25: Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.
Article 32 (1): Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources.
Article 32 (2): States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.
For more information about the upcoming court case, contact the appellants’ lawyer, Michael Swinwood, at 613 563-7474.